May 10, 2018

AWS Online Tech Talks – May and Early June 2018  

Join us this month to learn about some of the exciting new services and solution best practices at AWS. We also have our first re:Invent 2018 webinar series, “How to re:Invent”. Sign up now to learn more, we look forward to seeing you.

Note – All sessions are free and in Pacific Time.

Tech talks featured this month:

Analytics & Big Data

May 21, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PT Integrating Amazon Elasticsearch with your DevOps Tooling – Learn how you can easily integrate Amazon Elasticsearch Service into your DevOps tooling and gain valuable insight from your log data.

May 23, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PTData Warehousing and Data Lake Analytics, Together – Learn how to query data across your data warehouse and data lake without moving data.

May 24, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PTData Transformation Patterns in AWS – Discover how to perform common data transformations on the AWS Data Lake.


May 29, 2018 | 01:00 PM – 01:45 PM PT – Creating and Managing a WordPress Website with Amazon Lightsail – Learn about Amazon Lightsail and how you can create, run and manage your WordPress websites with Amazon’s simple compute platform.

May 30, 2018 | 01:00 PM – 01:45 PM PTAccelerating Life Sciences with HPC on AWS – Learn how you can accelerate your Life Sciences research workloads by harnessing the power of high performance computing on AWS.


May 24, 2018 | 01:00 PM – 01:45 PM PT – Building Microservices with the 12 Factor App Pattern on AWS – Learn best practices for building containerized microservices on AWS, and how traditional software design patterns evolve in the context of containers.


May 21, 2018 | 01:00 PM – 01:45 PM PTHow to Migrate from Cassandra to Amazon DynamoDB – Get the benefits, best practices and guides on how to migrate your Cassandra databases to Amazon DynamoDB.

May 23, 2018 | 01:00 PM – 01:45 PM PT5 Hacks for Optimizing MySQL in the Cloud – Learn how to optimize your MySQL databases for high availability, performance, and disaster resilience using RDS.


May 23, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 09:45 AM PT.NET Serverless Development on AWS – Learn how to build a modern serverless application in .NET Core 2.0.

Enterprise & Hybrid

May 22, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PTHybrid Cloud Customer Use Cases on AWS – Learn how customers are leveraging AWS hybrid cloud capabilities to easily extend their datacenter capacity, deliver new services and applications, and ensure business continuity and disaster recovery.


May 31, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PTUsing AWS IoT for Industrial Applications – Discover how you can quickly onboard your fleet of connected devices, keep them secure, and build predictive analytics with AWS IoT.

Machine Learning

May 22, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 09:45 AM PTUsing Apache Spark with Amazon SageMaker – Discover how to use Apache Spark with Amazon SageMaker for training jobs and application integration.

May 24, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 09:45 AM PTIntroducing AWS DeepLens – Learn how AWS DeepLens provides a new way for developers to learn machine learning by pairing the physical device with a broad set of tutorials, examples, source code, and integration with familiar AWS services.

Management Tools

May 21, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 09:45 AM PTGaining Better Observability of Your VMs with Amazon CloudWatch – Learn how CloudWatch Agent makes it easy for customers like Rackspace to monitor their VMs.


May 29, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PT – Deep Dive on Amazon Pinpoint Segmentation and Endpoint Management – See how segmentation and endpoint management with Amazon Pinpoint can help you target the right audience.


May 31, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 09:45 AM PTMaking Private Connectivity the New Norm via AWS PrivateLink – See how PrivateLink enables service owners to offer private endpoints to customers outside their company.

Security, Identity, & Compliance

May 30, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 09:45 AM PT – Introducing AWS Certificate Manager Private Certificate Authority (CA) – Learn how AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) Private Certificate Authority (CA), a managed private CA service, helps you easily and securely manage the lifecycle of your private certificates.

June 1, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 09:45 AM PTIntroducing AWS Firewall Manager – Centrally configure and manage AWS WAF rules across your accounts and applications.


May 22, 2018 | 01:00 PM – 01:45 PM PTBuilding API-Driven Microservices with Amazon API Gateway – Learn how to build a secure, scalable API for your application in our tech talk about API-driven microservices.


May 30, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PTAccelerate Productivity by Computing at the Edge – Learn how AWS Snowball Edge support for compute instances helps accelerate data transfers, execute custom applications, and reduce overall storage costs.

June 1, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PTLearn to Build a Cloud-Scale Website Powered by Amazon EFS – Technical deep dive where you’ll learn tips and tricks for integrating WordPress, Drupal and Magento with Amazon EFS.





on May 10, 2018 10:04 AM tagged with Uncategorized

Many of my colleagues are fortunate to be able to spend a good part of their day sitting down with and listening to our customers, doing their best to understand ways that we can better meet their business and technology needs. This information is treated with extreme care and is used to drive the roadmap for new services and new features.

AWS customers in the financial services industry (often abbreviated as FSI) are looking ahead to the Fundamental Review of Trading Book (FRTB) regulations that will come in to effect between 2019 and 2021. Among other things, these regulations mandate a new approach to the “value at risk” calculations that each financial institution must perform in the four hour time window after trading ends in New York and begins in Tokyo. Today, our customers report this mission-critical calculation consumes on the order of 200,000 vCPUs, growing to between 400K and 800K vCPUs in order to meet the FRTB regulations. While there’s still some debate about the magnitude and frequency with which they’ll need to run this expanded calculation, the overall direction is clear.

Building a Big Grid
In order to make sure that we are ready to help our FSI customers meet these new regulations, we worked with TIBCO to set up and run a proof of concept grid in the AWS Cloud. The periodic nature of the calculation, along with the amount of processing power and storage needed to run it to completion within four hours, make it a great fit for an environment where a vast amount of cost-effective compute power is available on an on-demand basis.

Our customers are already using the TIBCO GridServer on-premises and want to use it in the cloud. This product is designed to run grids at enterprise scale. It runs apps in a virtualized fashion, and accepts requests for resources, dynamically provisioning them on an as-needed basis. The cloud version supports Amazon Linux as well as the PostgreSQL-compatible edition of Amazon Aurora.

Working together with TIBCO, we set out to create a grid that was substantially larger than the current high-end prediction of 800K vCPUs, adding a 50% safety factor and then rounding up to reach 1.3 million vCPUs (5x the size of the largest on-premises grid). With that target in mind, the account limits were raised as follows:

  • Spot Instance Limit – 120,000
  • EBS Volume Limit – 120,000
  • EBS Capacity Limit – 2 PB

If you plan to create a grid of this size, you should also bring your friendly local AWS Solutions Architect into the loop as early as possible. They will review your plans, provide you with architecture guidance, and help you to schedule your run.

Running the Grid
We hit the Go button and launched the grid, watching as it bid for and obtained Spot Instances, each of which booted, initialized, and joined the grid within two minutes. The test workload used the Strata open source analytics & market risk library from OpenGamma and was set up with their assistance.

The grid grew to 61,299 Spot Instances (1.3 million vCPUs drawn from 34 instance types spanning 3 generations of EC2 hardware) as planned, with just 1,937 instances reclaimed and automatically replaced during the run, and cost $30,000 per hour to run, at an average hourly cost of $0.078 per vCPU. If the same instances had been used in On-Demand form, the hourly cost to run the grid would have been approximately $93,000.

Despite the scale of the grid, prices for the EC2 instances did not move during the bidding process. This is due to the overall size of the AWS Cloud and the smooth price change model that we launched late last year.

To give you a sense of the compute power, we computed that this grid would have taken the #1 position on the TOP 500 supercomputer list in November 2007 by a considerable margin, and the #2 position in June 2008. Today, it would occupy position #360 on the list.

I hope that you enjoyed this AWS success story, and that it gives you an idea of the scale that you can achieve in the cloud!


on May 10, 2018 10:04 AM tagged with News*

Enterprises want to provide their employees with apps and tools that will allow them to do a better and more efficient job, while still providing oversight and governance. AWS Service Catalog helps enterprise IT to meet all of these needs, with a focus on cloud-based solutions. Administrators assemble portfolios of products, add rules to control and manage user access, and make the resulting portfolios available to their organization. Employees browse the catalog to find and launch the desired product. ServiceNow is an IT service management (ITSM) platform built around activities, tasks, processes, and workflows. The ServiceNow Service Catalog allows users to locate and order IT services, powered by a workflow that includes approval and fulfillment steps.

We recently launched the AWS Service Catalog Connector for ServiceNow and I would like to tell you about it today. The connector is available in the ServiceNow Store. It synchronizes AWS Service Catalog portfolios and products with the ServiceNow Service Catalog so that ServiceNow users can request approved AWS products without having to log in to an AWS account. The ServiceNow Service Catalog administrator has full control of the AWS-powered IT services (visible as products in the AWS Service Catalog) that they make available to their user base. This includes service configuration, AWS tagging, and access control at the individual, group, and role level. Provisioning requests can be connected to workflows and can also make use of a default workflow. ServiceNow users can browse the catalog and request provisioning of products that are managed within AWS Service Catalog, including AWS Marketplace products that have been copied to AWS Service Catalog.

To learn more and to get started, read How to Install and Configure the AWS Service Catalog Connector for ServiceNow.



on May 10, 2018 10:04 AM tagged with News*

We’ve all been there! You need to make a quick, seemingly simple fix to an important production database. You compose the query, give it a once-over, and let it run. Seconds later you realize that you forgot the WHERE clause, dropped the wrong table, or made another serious mistake, and interrupt the query, but the damage has been done. You take a deep breath, whistle through your teeth, wish that reality came with an Undo option. Now what?

New Amazon Aurora Backtrack
Today I would like to tell you about the new backtrack feature for Amazon Aurora. This is as close as we can come, given present-day technology, to an Undo option for reality.

This feature can be enabled at launch time for all newly-launched Aurora database clusters. To enable it, you simply specify how far back in time you might want to rewind, and use the database as usual (this is on the Configure advanced settings page):

Aurora uses a distributed, log-structured storage system (read Design Considerations for High Throughput Cloud-Native Relational Databases to learn a lot more); each change to your database generates a new log record, identified by a Log Sequence Number (LSN). Enabling the backtrack feature provisions a FIFO buffer in the cluster for storage of LSNs. This allows for quick access and recovery times measured in seconds.

After that regrettable moment when all seems lost, you simply pause your application, open up the Aurora Console, select the cluster, and click Backtrack DB cluster:

Then you select Backtrack and choose the point in time just before your epic fail, and click Backtrack DB cluster:

Then you wait for the rewind to take place, unpause your application and proceed as if nothing had happened. When you initiate a backtrack, Aurora will pause the database, close any open connections, drop uncommitted writes, and wait for the backtrack to complete. Then it will resume normal operation and being to accept requests. The instance state will be backtracking while the rewind is underway:

The console will let you know when the backtrack is complete:

If it turns out that you went back a bit too far, you can backtrack to a later time. Other Aurora features such as cloning, backups, and restores continue to work on an instance that has been configured for backtrack.

I’m sure you can think of some creative and non-obvious use cases for this cool new feature. For example, you could use it to restore a test database after running a test that makes changes to the database. You can initiate the restoration from the API or the CLI, making it easy to integrate into your existing test framework.

Things to Know
This option applies to newly created MySQL-compatible Aurora database clusters and to MySQL-compatible clusters that have been restored from a backup. You must opt-in when you create or restore a cluster; you cannot enable it for a running cluster.

This feature is available now in all AWS Regions where Amazon Aurora runs, and you can start using it today.


on May 10, 2018 09:54 AM tagged with News*

Today I’m excited to announce a new Machine Learning Competency for Consulting Partners in the Amazon Partner Network (APN). This AWS Competency program allows APN Consulting Partners to demonstrate a deep expertise in machine learning on AWS by providing solutions that enable machine learning and data science workflows for their customers. This new AWS Competency is in addition to the Machine Learning comptency for our APN Technology Partners, that we launched at the re:Invent 2017 partner summit.

These APN Consulting Partners help organizations solve their machine learning and data challenges through:

  • Providing data services that help data scientists and machine learning practitioners prepare their enterprise data for training.
  • Platform solutions that provide data scientists and machine learning practitioners with tools to take their data, train models, and make predictions on new data.
  • SaaS and API solutions to enable predictive capabilities within customer applications.

Why work with an AWS Machine Learning Competency Partner?

The AWS Competency Program helps customers find the most qualified partners with deep expertise. AWS Machine Learning Competency Partners undergo a strict validation of their capabilities to demonstrate technical proficiency and proven customer success with AWS machine learning tools.

If you’re an AWS customer interested in machine learning workloads on AWS, check out our AWS Machine Learning launch partners below:


Interested in becoming an AWS Machine Learning Competency Partner?

APN Partners with experience in Machine Learning can learn more about becoming an AWS Machine Learning Competency Partner here. To learn more about the benefits of joining the AWS Partner Network, see our APN Partner website.

Thanks to the AWS Partner Team for their help with this post!

on May 10, 2018 09:37 AM tagged with AWS Partner Network

As films are revealed at Sundance and Cannes right through the fall film festival circuit, the 2018-19 awards season slowly comes into focus. The Academy has moved away from the mainstream over the last few years, awarding best picture to the low budget “Moonlight” and fantasy film “The Shape of Water,” which bodes well for the eclectic group of titles that are already being eyed as contenders.

Read More:2019 Oscars: Best Picture Predictions

The first quarter of 2018 was a bit quieter in launching potential Oscar players, although the record-breaking “Black Panther” could show the same legs as “Get Out” did last year and ride its critical and commercial success all the way to multiple Oscar nominations. So far, Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” could figure in the animation race, while Cannes Best actor-winner Joaquin Phoenix shines in Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here.”

As is the case every year, the majority of the year’s biggest Oscar contenders will debut in the fall. Academy Award winners Alfonso Cuarón, Barry Jenkins, Damien Chazelle, and Steve McQueen all have new projects dropping this fall, along with Luca Guadagnino, Xavier Dolan, Yorgos Lanthimos, Bradley Cooper, Richard Linklater, Marielle Heller, Claire Denis, and more.

Click the individual links below for Anne Thompson’s developing Oscar predictions in each category. More categories will be nominated as the year continues.

Best Picture

Best Director

Best Actress

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actor

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on May 10, 2018 09:21 AM tagged with Oscars

As it prepares for the latest iteration of its annual marquee event, the Toronto International Film Festival has announced a filmmaker-heavy jury for its Platform section, one of only three sections in the festival to award honors based on jury votes. The jury includes New German Cinema legend Margarethe von Trotta, Hungarian existential filmmaker Béla Tarr, and South Korean director and novelist Lee Chang-dong.

This year’s edition of the festival will mark the fourth time the Platform section has been a part of the fest, as it was first announced in 2015. The section is designed to “champion up to 12 works with high artistic merit that also demonstrate a strong directorial vision.” The three-person jury will pick the winner of the Toronto Platform Prize, which includes an award of $25,000 CAD presented to the Best Film in the lineup.

Read More:TIFF Promotes Artistic Director Cameron Bailey to Role as Festival Co-Head

“We are privileged to have a Platform jury that so perfectly embodies the programme’s essence,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF in an official statement. “Our 2018 jurors’ bold and daringly uncompromising artistic visions have not only influenced, but helped mold the next generation of filmmakers. The wealth of experience, passion, and knowledge that they will bring to this year’s edition will be priceless, and exciting to watch this September.”

All three filmmakers have previously screened their own films in the festival. In 1985, three of von Trotta’s film were part art of the 10 to Watch program, which also included Andrei Tarkovsky, Chantal Akerman and Lino Brocka in its lineup. Tarr’s first festival was in 1988, when he screened his “Damnation,” and Lee first hit TIFF in 2007 with his “Secret Sunshine.”

Last year’s Platform winner was Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country.”

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16, 2018. The lineup for this year’s Platform programme will be announced on August 7.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

on May 10, 2018 08:00 AM tagged with TIFF

This post is from Chrome Story - Chrome OS Made Simple!

Here is an exciting news if you are a developer. The leading virtualization app Docker now works on Pixelbook. For the uninitiated, here is a widely accepted definition of Docker: Docker is a tool that can package an application and its dependencies in a virtual container that can run on any Linux server The news […]

on May 10, 2018 07:52 AM tagged with Chromebook

A Colorado law that would more clearly define whether certain tokens qualify as securities was struck down in the state Senate.

HB 1426, a piece of state legislation that would have created guidelines for identifying “open blockchain tokens” as securities, was voted down in the Colorado state Senate on May 9, according to public records.

The bill passed handily in the state House of Representatives, but was more controversial in the senate. According to the Denver Post, the final hours of the legislative session saw a split in both political parties. Lawmakers initially passed the measure by one vote, but the senate took another vote moments later, and “shot down” the bill 18-17 after some senators switched sides.

Senator Tim Neville (R), who co-sponsored the bill, said he had hoped it would encourage blockchain innovation in the state without having to wait for legal clarity on cryptocurrencies from federal regulators. Following the vote, Neville said:

“We usually come together to create more opportunities for Colorado companies and startups. In this case, this was an epic fail for those who chose not to support it.”

The bill stated that tokens, which are created for utility, such as the cartoon cats in the CryptoKitties blockchain game, would essentially be treated like “collectible stamps.” On the other hand, tokens that are created for financial gain would be treated as securities. The legislative summary says:

“The bill defines 'open blockchain token' and exempts certain open blockchain tokens from the definition of 'security' for purposes of the 'Colorado Securities Act'.”

Lucia Guzman (D), said she didn’t know a lot about the issue and was persuaded to vote “no” in the second vote when she learned Attorney General Cynthia Coffman opposed the bill. She said, “These are new ideas and possibly good ideas, … but I’m not comfortable with it.” Neville claimed that the Attorney General’s office opposed the bill, because it would give to much latitude to a new and unfamiliar industry.

Some members of the private sector were disappointed with the outcome. Venture capitalist and blockchain investor David Gold said:

“This is an opportunity for Colorado to say, ‘Look, we’re going to provide an environment that provides clarity for the sector. That doesn’t mean charlatans can violate security laws.’ Those who oppose it simply don’t understand it.”

Blake Cohen, CEO and co-founder of a blockchain lending platform in Denver said that he believes legislators will view blockchain more positively once they’ve learned more about it. Wednesday was the last day of the Colorado legislative session.

While some state have taken action to define and legitimize digital assets, namely Wyoming, US regulations on the federal level are still vague. Industry experts appeared before Congress in March to apprise legislators of the regulatory situation, and seek more legal clarity in how to conduct business.

on May 10, 2018 06:00 AM tagged with Colorado

Minute of Meeting - MOM

ShoutDreams is a remote team company, and we have more than five people working with us from various parts of the world. A major part of my time these days is occupied with improving the process and workflow of our organization.

A few months back we implemented a technique called Minute of the Meeting (MoM) which has proven to be highly effective for overall productivity and growth.

This technique can be used by an individual who is a freelancer, blogger or a part of an organization.

What Are Minutes Of Meeting (MoM)?

MoM (Minutes of the Meeting) is a recorded documentation of any meeting. This document can be created on Google docs, Word file or even on email. This document helps attendees or non-attendees to understand what was discussed and can also be used as a reference while making new decisions.

Think of MoM as an executive summary of the whole meeting which is documented for future reference. This single document will help in better management and organization in time to come.

What all is recorded on the minute of the meeting:

  • Name of the participants
  • Date and time of the meeting
  • Purpose and agenda of the meeting
  • The decisions taken at the meeting
  • Commitments made in the meeting
  • Due dates of the commitments made with persona assigned (action items with due date)

It’s a good idea to keep your document ready with these sections on the MoM (Minutes of the Meeting) document and make a note while in the meeting or after the meeting.  I have shared a few free downloadable Minutes of Meeting templates at the end of this article. 

I usually prefer making MoM while the meeting is going on as it ensures we don’t miss out any important points.

Benefits of MoM

For those who have never worked in a corporate space and started a business straight away, incorporating such an activity could be exhausting. The best way to make any new activity part of your habit is by understanding the benefits of it (long and short-term).

After the first few minutes of the meeting, it did not take me long to understand the potential benefits of MoM documentation, and here I am highlighting some of the benefits that you will see in no time:

Same recollection of the meeting: One of the major conflicts of area among people is the wrong recollection of an event. It’s normal for someone to say that they didn’t say or mean a particular thing and thus it creates issues and a less cordial environment for working. However, MoM ensures such conflicts don’t happen, and it’s necessary that it’s created as soon as the meeting is over.

Agenda: It’s important to have a purpose and agenda for every meeting you have, be it a quick call with one of your employee or a planned group meeting. Since the agenda is defined before the meeting, you are unlikely to miss essential touch points and your meeting stays productive. Freelancer or entrepreneurs who are unorganized and make impromptu calls to their staff members will have to rethink before making impromptu decisions without any conviction. This document helps you save yourself from your own bad habits as well.

Synchronisation: The biggest challenge for a growing company is synchronization. Every department has their own agenda and working style. MoM improves the synchronization among the department.

Who is responsible for the minute of a meeting?

In big companies, there is usually a secretary or assistant whose job is to attentively listen to the meeting and prepare the MoM and share it with others. For an organization our size, we assign this task to an individual who is responsible for the meeting.

Fact: For a meeting of 30-60 minutes, it takes only 5 minutes to compile a MoM.

How I started using MoM and how it helped me grow

As I mentioned earlier, we have a small team of 5+ members. Last year we started doing a weekly team meeting using Zoom. It’s a video call for 30-40 minutes where we share what are we working on, what we plan to do and few other things that help us connect better.

This meeting is hosted by one of the members and he/she is the same person who is responsible for writing MoM and sharing it with everyone after the meeting. The MoM is shared via email and also documented in a Google doc file where all MoM are documented for future references. This single document serves as an archive of the MoM of all of our team meetings. 

Here is an example of a MoM document:

Example of a MoM document

After the success of MoM from the team meeting, we started using the same for our one-on-one meeting among team members. This way, we have formal documentation of all the stuff that we discussed, and everyone with the right permission in the organization could see what was discussed.

Here is an example of personal meeting MoM documentation:

Personal meeting MoM documentation

If you are a leader or a manager who needs to keep an update on what is happening in such meetings, these kinds of documents are essential in the longer run.

A lot of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers usually make notes at the time of the meeting or after the meeting in a notebook. It’s a good idea to move everything to a document and name it Minutes of The Meeting with XYZ, and document everything there. This kind of management activity is very helpful in the longer run.

Where should you record the minute of a meeting?

The best way is to record it on is a document which is on cloud and can be easily shared among users. For example, we use Google docs.

However, you can use other note taking apps as long as it is on cloud and can be shared easily.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Google docs
  • Evernote
  • Dropbox

Here is an interesting video that you should watch to learn more about MoM:

Downloadable Minute of meeting templates:

While we are on it, it’s a good idea to learn and get inspired by others who have been using MoM for years and customizing it according to their need.

Here we go:

1) Rodrigo Caetano:

Minute of meeting templates

Parking lot = These are the items which are not part of agenda but has come up in the meeting. Depending upon the time availability, you can discuss it in the same meeting or schedule it for next time.

2. Meeting minutes template by Microsoft for Word

Meeting minutes template For Word

3. Minute meeting template by Smartsheet

Minute meeting template by Smartsheet

Here, you will find some more ideas for different meeting types. For example, project meetings, personal meetings and so on.

4. Google docs meeting minute template (Free)

Google docs meeting minute template

Google doc has an inbuilt template for meeting minutes template. Go to Google docs and at the top under Start a new document, select the More to expand the section. Then, scroll down and under Work you will find a few templates for the MoM.

Conclusion: Minutes of meeting

No matter what role you are in, you should take advantage of the minute of meeting concept to improve the management, process and overall synchronization. If your company or organization is not taking advantage of this technique, do share this article with the decision maker or better you start using MoM for your personal productivity and later on introduce this technique to others in your team.

As a blogger and a freelancer, you should use MoM while talking to your clients, collaborators, writers and other people that you interact with on day to day basis. Do remember, I’m sharing this only after testing this technique and this will definitely be helpful for personal and professional growth.

Do you use draft a Minutes of the Meeting document after every meeting? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Here are a few other hand-picked articles for you to read next:

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How Minutes Of Meeting Can Help You Improve + Free Downloadable Templates for MoM is a post from ShoutMeLoud - Shouters Who Inspires

on May 10, 2018 05:30 AM tagged with Video Meeting

The state of West Virginia has completed its trial-run of state elections on a blockchain-supported mobile platform.

Polls closed in West Virginia's primary election May 8, completing the first government-run, blockchain-supported vote in US history, ETHNews reported May 9. While most voters cast regular ballots, special voters in certain districts voted on a mobile blockchain-based platform.

The blockchain-based mobile voting platform, developed by Voatz, was only available to a select group of voters. Participants were deployed military members, other citizens eligible to vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), and their spouses and dependents. Participation was further limited to voters registered in two West Virginia counties, Harrison and Monongalia.

State electoral processes and organization are the purview of the Office of the Secretary of State. Mike Queen, communications director for West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, said:

"[The office of the Secretary believes] blockchain does provide a heightened level of security on this type of mobile voting app. We're genuinely hoping that will allow this type of a mobile app to be made available in the future – as early perhaps as our general election – to military voters."

The audit of the voting exercise will be performed by employees of Voatz, and the clerks representing Harrison and Monongalia counties. Other parties will also be invited to give feedback such as "interest groups here in West Virginia," county clerks from non-participating jurisdictions, the state's governor, and the Board of Public Works.

Following the audit, Secretary Warner will decide whether to implement the program statewide in the upcoming general elections in November. Queen predicts that Warner will only move ahead with statewide implementation if auditors of the trial-run agree that it is prudent to do so. Queen said that he expects Warner to make a decision by mid-July on whether to expand the program.

While Queen expresses hope for the system’s use in future elections, some experts remain skeptical regarding electronic voting, and Voatz's solution in particular. University of South Carolina computer science professor Duncan Buell believes that the facial-recognition and fingerprint-scanning technologies the company employs to verify voter identities could be vulnerable to hacks.

Queen, however, said the Secretary’s office is “very encouraged so far today and we believe that [blockchain-based voting] is a real viable option." He added that there "are a lot of other states who are asking about this mobile voting solution and who are also interested in it."

The trial-run was first announced in March of this year. The decision was undertaken by Secretary Warner “ improve accessibility and enhance confidence in our electoral system.”

on May 10, 2018 04:00 AM tagged with Government

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “The Americans” Season 6, Episode 7, “Harvest.”]

Does everyone remember “the suitcase”? No? Is that because “Americans” viewers are freshly scarred from its surprise sequel, “the axe”? Before “Harvest” even began, it felt like the seventh episode of Season 6 was building up to something big; with Philip (Matthew Rhys) reluctantly coming out of retirement to help Elizabeth (Keri Russell) on a dangerous mission, anything could happen.

And as is customary with “The Americans,” the unexpected development wasn’t a big reveal or a major death, but two scenes of incredible power: One was “the axe,” where Philip dismembers a dead agent’s body in order to hide her identity from the FBI. The other was a result of their failed mission, as Stan (Noah Emmerich) grows more and more suspicious of his regularly absent neighbors and decides to poke around their house.

Read More:‘The Americans’ Review: Season 6 Is Moving Faster Than Ever, and Episode 6 Makes It Hurt So Good

Though Philip using an emergency axe to chop a human body to bits might get more attention, viewers are more likely to remember Stan’s silent and ultimately unsuccessful investigation. Those tense minutes gave fans time to dwell on what feels inevitable: Stan discovering who his neighbors really are, and who they’ve been all along. Imagining the fallout between Philip and Stan — “best friends,” as Stan said early in the episode — is far harder to take than any bloody butchering. Creator Joe Weisberg and co-showrunner Joel Fields are preparing us for the devastation to come; they’re taking their time, letting six years of emotional buildup settle in before it all comes to an end.

With three episodes left before the series says dosvedanya, IndieWire is taking a look at where things stand at the present moment, but also honoring the little things done consistently well throughout the series — the bits we’ll miss most when it’s all said and done. Some of it will be hard (like Philip cutting off Marilyn’s hands). Some of it will be much harder (like Philip cutting off Marilyn’s head). So without further ado, let’s get brutal.


So, Who’s Going to Die?

The pill cometh for… who, exactly?

One of our operating theories, from a thematic standpoint, has been that the suicide pill given to Elizabeth in Episode 1, “Dead Hand,” would be the Chekhov’s gun of the season. Someone was going to take it, and someone still might. But now that she’s told Philip about it, and we’ve seen another agent pop the fateful pill, how does that change things?

Read More:‘Better Things’: Pamela Adlon on the Secret Plan Behind Her Jaw-Dropping Dance Scene and a Surprise ‘Coach’ for Season 3

For one, Philip’s knowledge of it — and how dedicated Elizabeth is overall — means he’ll be even more aware of when she might decide to do it. If they’re jammed up, he might try to stop her from taking the pill even though she thinks she has to… which could lead Philip to sacrifice himself so she doesn’t.

That being said, right now it seems like Elizabeth understands Philip better than ever. “Your father made a mistake when he committed to this life,” Elizabeth says to Paige. “He was young — younger than you.” She may not let him put himself in a dangerous situation (like they saw in Chicago) again. She may embrace her fate and leave him to protect the kids.

Of course, that’s if they get a choice. That bullet came at Marilyn fast, and things have been moving very quickly in Season 6. With Paige going on a mission at the State Department, everyone is at risk. And that’s exactly where the series needs to be with three episodes left.


Cast Spotlight

I can’t be certain if Mr. VanDerWerff sent this tweet after watching this week’s episode or before (screeners were provided in advance), but it strikes at the heart of Emmerich’s sneaky-great performance, as well as how his turn fits into “Harvest” specifically.

Read More:Summer TV Preview: The 30 Most Anticipated New and Returning Series

Stan is a classic all-American type: an FBI agent, a family man, and a proud defender of American ideals. But over the years, his Uncle Sam form of patriotism has been put through the paces. He got a divorce. He formed an unlikely relationship with a Russian spy (Nina) and later an unlikely friendship with another Russian spy (Oleg). What he was asked to do to them both didn’t fall in line with the FBI rulebook, and he’s made his peace with that.

Last week (and in the “previously on” segment this week), Stan gave a forceful, fear-based speech to the families gathered for Thanksgiving. It’s the kind of thing many modern guests might snicker at, and thus audience members might have rolled their eyes once or twice, as well. But Emmerich’s performance showed a man trying to hold onto the ideals he’s always believed in; Stan has been tested, but he still doesn’t want to fail. It’s why he went back to the task force with Aderholt (Brandon J. Dirden), and it’s why he dug up the old case files from six years ago — when he came the closest to catching Philip and Elizabeth (not that he knew it was them).

In “Harvest,” he’s again overshadowed by a showier scene — “the axe.” But the way he investigates his neighbor’s home features so many crucial choices by Emmerich. Stan doesn’t break through the back door, he carefully picks the lock. OK, so maybe he was just covering his tracks, but what matters is he’s not angry. He’s afraid. He slowly walks through the dark home, reticently feeling the walls of the circuit breakers and passively sitting in Philip’s car. He’s thinking, yes, but he also doesn’t want to find what he thinks he might.

That tells us a lot about Stan. He’s loyal not only to his job (you better believe he’d catch some hell if they found out he’s been living next to Russian spies for over a decade), but he’s also loyal to his friends. He’s torn, and Emmerich portrays that in measured detail. He’s very good, and no one will forget it.


Creative Spotlight

Over the years, “The Americans” has made a lot of headlines with violent scenes, but they always have a purpose. Never a show that’s violent for violence’s sake, Weisberg and Fields infuse purpose into every broken bone and each severed appendage.

Tonight, the nauseating chop job informed viewers about many of the same concepts it always has as well as a few new ones pertinent to what’s happening in that very moment. It showed how well these two work together; what goes into their training and how in tune they are with each other, often without saying a word. Just look at how Elizabeth moved to position the hands and Philip waited for her — that’s a choice by the writers who know what these agents would be doing and why.

In the long-run, it shows a contrast between Philip and Elizabeth. Imagine Philip’s reaction to killing that man on the bus in Season 5, or Elizabeth taking out the turned Russian operatives just a few weeks ago: He’s struggling with it, and she’s only worried about getting away. Sure, she’s affected by it, but the disparity between their reactions to the worst of what the job requires is informative to who they are and who they’re becoming.

As for what “Harvest’s” scene meant to Philip and Elizabeth tonight, it’s all in the pause. After the car drives off and Philip struggles to remove the axe from Marilyn’s neck, he takes a beat. It’s not much, but it’s enough for Elizabeth to see how tired he is and how much the job has taken from him. Five or six years ago, he wouldn’t have hesitated at all. He would’ve been moving at top-speed, as he was taught. Philip finishes the job — he knows he has to — but she sees in the field what she couldn’t recognize in their home: He should’ve never become a spy in the first place.

That’s the big revelation of the episode, and it would’ve never come without so many extremely bloody moments.

Grade: A-

“The Americans” airs new episodes Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX. There are three episodes left in the final season.

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on May 10, 2018 03:12 AM tagged with TV Episode Reviews
Iring-iringan sepeda motor menyesaki pusat kota kecil ini. Di belakangnya rombongan mobil polisi mengikuti dan beberapa tentara bersenjata laras panjang berjaga-jaga di kanan-kiri jalan raya. Kemudian mobil jenazah dengan sirene meraung-raung menempel erat truk Brimob yang ada di depannya. Saya
on May 10, 2018 02:14 AM tagged with Kab Jayawijaya

This week I’ve started writing some custom commands for my Drupal projects that use Docksal, including one to easily run PHPUnit tests in Drupal 8. This is the process of how I created this command.

on May 10, 2018 02:01 AM

An FERF survey on blockchain use in the financial field shows that 30 percent of respondents “plan to commit resources to blockchain within the next year and a half.”

The Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) has released a report prepared in partnership with one of the 'Big Four' accounting and consulting firms Deloitte, on how blockchain technology is being employed in financial applications, Accounting Today reported May 9.

The report entitled “Blockchain for Financial Leaders: Opportunity vs. Reality” analyzes how blockchain could affect financial reporting, staffing, and other areas essential to executives. Researchers surveyed a group of financial executives, 30 percent of whom said they “plan to commit resources to blockchain within the next year and a half, though they don’t know yet what potential the technology holds.”

The survey also asked whether a significant change in the Bitcoin price or any negative news associated with the leading cryptocurrency would discourage them from exploring blockchain in the finance field. 64 percent of the respondents said they would not be deterred.

The report predicts that fundamental principles of accounting and auditing, such as staffing and training strategies, will need to be adapted or completely changed in order to integrate blockchain technology. According to the report, only a third of the participants in the survey expressed readiness to address those changes.

67 percent of respondents said their organizations don’t have the ability to train or hire specialists with the necessary skills for implementing distributed ledger technology, while 33 percent said they are ready.

Andrej Suskavcevic, president and CEO at Financial Executives International and Financial Executives Research Foundation said:

“Blockchain is a powerful technology that presents numerous areas of opportunity in the financial sector. This report provides a baseline to help financial professionals understand where we are in terms of vetting, adapting and adopting blockchain. It also encourages them to begin thinking about how open ledger technology and its real-time verification and transactional capabilities can help them excel in their roles.”

According to the report, survey participants anticipate utilizing blockchain in order to expand analytic capabilities and advance financial reporting. Jon Raphael, national managing partner of audit innovation and client service delivery at Deloitte & Touche LLP said:

“Blockchain may one day be seen as an inflection point in accounting and reporting processes. The potential of the technology is broad. However, what the research indicates is that financial executives are approaching this opportunity in an appropriately paced manner. There are still some gaps in connecting traditional systems with newer systems leveraging blockchain… there is the matter of staffing up with the appropriate talent...”

Recently, another ‘Big Four’ firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, acquired a minority stake ‎in Chinese blockchain service provider VeChain. With this move, PwC reportedly intends to integrate VeChain’s service platform into its infrastructure, which will require the use of VeChain Tokens in order to access and perform transactions.

Conversely, according to a recent Gartner survey, 77 percent of polled chief information officers (CIOs) have “no interest in the technology and/or action planned to to investigate or develop it.”

on May 10, 2018 02:00 AM tagged with Adoption
Selected local authorities can use drones for defibrillator deliveries, runway inspections, and mosquito control.
on May 10, 2018 01:04 AM tagged with Transportation
Amid a pile of crises and slow Model 3 production, one investor is calling for a shakeup of Tesla’s board of directors—and for more oversight over CEO Elon Musk.
on May 10, 2018 12:44 AM tagged with Transportation

Android TV is a platform with a lot of potential, but also one that needs a little TLC in order to bring users the best possible experience. We've already told you about some of the ways Google's looking to put things back on the right track, like working with the manufacturers of Android TV hardware to ease software development and see that devices get the latest features as soon as possible.

Read More

Android TV speeding up setup process with Android P: Autofill passwords, app suggestions, and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 10, 2018 12:24 AM tagged with video

Let's face it, smartphones have become boring to some degree or another. If you told me ten years ago that a very powerful computer in my pocket would eventually fail to excite me, I would've laughed in your face. But it's true. So when a company comes along talking about a device that doesn't fit the mold, my interest is piqued. While such things are often either vaporware or practical flops, they're difficult to ignore.

Read More

Sirin Labs reveals the specifications for Finney, the first blockchain smartphone was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 10, 2018 12:17 AM tagged with sirin os

Chinese messaging giant WeChat has frozen a third-party blockchain app designed to create contractual agreements a day after its launch.

WeChat, a Chinese messaging, social media, and payment application developed by Tencent, has suspended a third-party blockchain application that initiates contract agreements by app users, local news outlet Caijing reported May 9.

Xiao Xieyi, a mini-program launched on Wednesday, was promoted as a service to allow users on WeChat to create contract agreements and a unique social media ID using blockchain technology. This reportedly would ensure that the content and users’ identities are authentic and reliable.

The app, according to Caijing, would allow users to encrypt and record Ethereum network based agreements for a fee. However, less than a day after launch, the application was suspended. The app stated:

“Xiao Xieyi has been suspended due to violation of the service. We apologize, the content of the program has been suspended due to the fact that the content is not authorized on the platform.”

In March 2018, Tencent CEO Ma Huateng said that the number of active users of the messaging app exceeded 1 bln per month worldwide, making it the fifth largest social media network worldwide. The majority of users is concentrated in China.

Recently, David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s messaging app Messenger, announced that the social media site is exploring possible applications for blockchain technology. As part of the initiative, Marcus will reportedly set up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook.

on May 10, 2018 12:01 AM tagged with Adoption

Technical analysis on top 9 cryptocurrencies.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

The cryptocurrency market capitalization has dipped following the criticism from the legendary investors Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.

This time, even the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates opined that he would short Bitcoin if he could. Contrary to his opinion, Microsoft continues to be supportive towards blockchain and cryptocurrency.

While these statements might scare away a few investors planning to invest into digital currencies and result in a short-term dip, it is not going to have any material difference in the long-term trend. A few months down the line, these dips will be hardly even noticed on the charts.

The New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange is considering the possibility to allow their clients to buy and hold Bitcoin. This shows that the traditional investors from Wall Street are warming up to the idea of investing in cryptocurrencies and it is only a matter of time before volumes increase.

Gary Cohn, former chief economic advisor to US President Donald Trump believes that there will be a global cryptocurrency in the future, but it won’t be Bitcoin.


On May 09, Bitcoin momentarily dipped below both the 20-day EMA and the small trendline support but it did not hit our stops at $8,900.


Currently, the BTC/USD pair has again pulled back above the $9,000 levels, which is a positive development. This shows that the buyers are still keen to support prices at lower levels. Now, the bulls might attempt a rally back to $10,000 levels, which is a critical resistance. The digital currency will gain strength only above $10,000.

On the downside, a confirmed break below the $9,000 levels will result in a drop to the 50-day SMA. The RSI has formed a negative divergence which is a bearish sign.

We suggest maintaining the stops at $8,900 for now, we shall trail it higher in a couple of days.


Ethereum has slowly clawed back to our purchase price. It should break out and sustain above the $745 levels to signal strength. A failure to do so will result in another retest of the 20-day EMA, which is currently at $693.


A breakout above $745 can carry the ETH/USD pair to $838, which is the May 05 highs. Above this level, a rally close to $900 is possible. Though our target objective is $1,130, we shall take it one level at a time.

On the downside, a slide below the May 07 lows of $685.18 will signal weakness. Therefore, we recommend raising the stops higher from $640 to $680. Let’s reduce our risk.


Bitcoin Cash broke below the support line of the ascending channel and triggered our proposed stop loss on half of the position at $1,500. The stops on the remaining half kept at $1,400 is still intact.


Currently, the BCH/USD pair has climbed back into the channel and has broken out of $1,600, which is a positive move. If it sustains above $1,600, a rally back to the May 06 highs of $1,849 should be on the cards. Above this, the rally should extend to the resistance line of the ascending channel at $2,000.

On the downside, a breakdown of the 20-day EMA will signal weakness. Therefore, we recommend holding the remaining position with the stops at $1,400.


Ripple continues to trade inside the range of $0.76-$0.93777. Currently, prices are bouncing off the lower end of the range. If the support holds, we should see a move back towards the upper end of the range.

However, we already have a few open positions, which are close to our buy levels. Hence, we need to wait for a couple of days before recommending a long position in it.


A breakdown of the range gives the XRP/USD pair a pattern target of $0.58223 on the downside.

Inside the range, trading will continue to be volatile.


Stellar is trying to hold the 20-day EMA. If successful, it can rally back towards the $0.47766719 levels, which will form a cup and handle formation. A break below the 20-day EMA can extend the decline to the next support level of $0.334.


Though the XLM/USD pair is showing signs of bottoming out, we suggest waiting for the pattern to complete with a breakout above the overhead resistance at $0.48. Such a breakout has a pattern target of about $0.8.

If the bulls fail to push prices above the overhead resistance, the cryptocurrency can enter into a range bound action for a few days.


Litecoin broke below the support line of the ascending channel and the 20-day EMA today, but the bulls purchased the dip close to $150 levels and pushed prices back into the channel. Now, a rally above $168 levels will indicate strength and a move to the May 06 highs of $184.794 is possible.


If the LTC/USD pair fails to scale the overhead resistance, it can decline to the next support level of $141.026.

Presently, we don’t find a high probability trade setup, therefore, we are not recommending any fresh long positions.


Cardano broke below the support levels and declined to 0.00003301 levels where buying emerged. Our suggested stop loss is placed at 0.000029 levels, just below the lows of the handle, in the cup and handle formation.


If the ADA/BTC pair fails to break out of the 0.00003445 levels quickly, it will continue to slide lower. It has already broken below the trendline and is just about hanging on to the horizontal support.

Due to the weakness, we propose raising the stops on half position to 0.000032 and retaining the rest at 0.000029.  


IOTA held the support line of the ascending channel and the 20-day EMA on May 07. However, the resulting rally faced a stiff resistance at $2.55 levels. Currently, prices have again declined to the horizontal support at $2.2117. If this level holds, it will signal strength and we can expect a rally to the resistance line of the channel at $2.9. Traders can wait for a rally above $2.5 to sustain before entering long positions.   


If the IOTA/USD pair breaks down of the channel and the 20-day EMA, it will indicate weakness and the fall can extend to the next major support at $1.63.

Right now, there are no reliable buy setups, hence, we have not suggested any specific buy and stop loss levels.


EOS has largely been consolidating between $16 and $19.67 levels for the past few days. We like the way it has held above the 38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement levels of the rally from $5.9610 to $23.0290. This shows that the bulls are in no hurry to close their positions and are not waiting for a larger dip to buy.


If the EOS/USD pair breaks out of $20 levels, the bulls will attempt to push it to new highs once again.

On the other hand, a break below the $16 levels can sink the digital currency to $14.495 levels.

We shall wait for the consolidation to end before suggesting any long positions.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

on May 10, 2018 12:01 AM tagged with Price Analysis

Today, we’re happy to share that there’s a new, automated way to prepare your dedicated IPs to send email through Mailgun. If you’ve ever had to warm up an IP manually, you know how much it sucks: prep then send specific volumes of email every hour and increase the volume thereafter. You’re an F-Zero pilot, constantly challenging your reflexes - and sweating bullets in the process - because you can hit the brake too late and go overboard. It’s a pain, and it’s also really easy to screw up.

We wanted to make the manual process of IP warm up less – well – manual. Now, when you add a dedicated IP through Mailgun, you can automatically warm it up following our blueprint. Of course, this is totally optional. If you’ve perfected IP warm up your way, go for it. But this automated option can do it for you, and it’s available now.

IP Warm Up with Captain Falcon

Spreading the Load

If you try to push too much email volume through your dedicated IP before the reputation is solid, you’re gonna have all sorts of delivery issues. In fact, you might get mislabeled as a spammer with ESPs and not even know. They can even decide to drop or filter your messages without telling you that it’s happening.

What an automated IP warm-up plan can do in this case, is gradually increase your sending volume over a set number of stages to avoid this mistake. The hourly and daily sending cap during the warm-up process is enforced so you don’t raise any red flags. Mailgun gently pushes the brake for you at the right time - so even this guy can enjoy the ride!

Dashboard Kitty

You might be thinking it’s just not enough volume, but we thought a lot about this and came up with a way to balance the extra load. If you need to send more than the daily limit, don’t worry, we automatically take care of it for you. Mailgun will rollover your additional volume to shared IPs or other dedicated IPs tied to your domain. This way, you stick to the plan and still have the flexibility to send more messages if needed.

How It Works

This IP warm up schedule was created by our team of email experts based on what they’ve seen work. It factors in the aggregate of sending data for things like reputation, list hygiene, and email engagement from our own testing. Using thousands of data points, we came up with a blueprint that is representative of what a typical user would need to do with a (new) dedicated IP to establish a good sending reputation.

When you start the warm up sequence, it will look something like this:

IP Warm Up Sequence

We intentionally created stages in this process to make the increase in sending volume happen gradually. It’s a built-in guardrail of sorts that caps the number of emails you can send out in a 24 hour period. So let’s say in stage 1 you sent out exactly 600 emails every hour until all 5,000 emails went out.

5,000 emails per day / 600 emails per hour = daily volume cap hit in 8.3 hours

You basically sent the maximum daily volume of emails for stage 1 in about 8 hours, which means you have to wait a full 24 hours before you can move on to stage 2. Now, on the flip side, if you don’t send the maximum volume of emails per hour, it could take you much longer to reach stage 2. Assuming you’re sending a lower volume per hour - something like 104 emails, and we still have the 5,000 email cap in the first stage:

5,000 emails per day / 104 emails per hour = daily volume cap hit in about 48 hours

The same volume of emails could take roughly 2 days to send, but you’re not in danger of hitting the daily cap for that stage. In this case, daily email volume and the 24 hour wait period between stages are mutually exclusive. Once you’ve sent out the 5,000 emails in stage 1, you will move on to stage 2 regardless of how many hours it takes you to send those emails.

Get Started

It’s now possible to add an IP warm-up plan to a new dedicated IP. The first step is to create a new Mailgun account and then assign your dedicated IP to an existing domain. You also want to make sure your domain already has some IPs on it. And of course, if you already have an account, just head on over to the IP Management section. The feature will be there the next time you add a new dedicated IP to your account.

Mailgun Control Panel

on May 10, 2018 12:00 AM

May 09, 2018

Playing games on Android usually means playing mobile games, but Valve could give you more options soon. It's launching a Steam Link app on Android, allowing you to play your PC games on phones and tablets. In addition, Steam Video is coming to Android. Did you know Steam offered video content? Well, it does.

Valve currently plans to release a beta version of Steam Link the week of May 21st. The app will require a gaming PC on the same network as your Android device.

Read More

Valve announces Steam Link and Steam Video apps for Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 11:22 PM tagged with valve
Conscious Decoupling: The Case of brandt Mon, 05/07/2018 - 12:31 Ken Rickard May 9, 2018

Our new site uses VueJS to produce single page applications. By tying these applications to content creation, our content editors can create dynamic new pages without needing an engineer.

Alex Brandt recently wrote about the new redesign of the new site: what the goals were, what we wanted to improve, and the process by which we approached the project. I want to speak more from a development viewpoint around how we decoupled the new site in order to create better relationships between content.

A major goal of our 2018 redesign was to feature more content and make it easier for people to surface topics that interest them. The strategic plan and design called for a system that allows people to filter content from the home page and other landing pages (such as our Work page).

Homepage filtering by topicIn the modern web, people expect this filtering to take place without a page refresh. Simply select the filter and the content should update immediately.

This presents an opportunity to explore methods for achieving this effect. In addition, the following features were desired:

  • The ability to feature specific content at the top of the page
  • A process to insert content other than Drupal pages into the list display
  • A way to select what types of content appear on the page
  • A method to restrict the total count of items displayed on the page
  • The ability to add one or two filters to the page; or none at all

From the developer’s point-of-view, we also added:

  • The ability to allow editors to create and configure these dynamic pages without additional programming

The design and development of the new site followed our understanding of what “content” means to different teams. We know that understanding how to implement the design requirements isn’t enough. We had to think through how editors would interact with (and control) the content.

There is a lot of talk around “decoupled” Drupal these days — the practice of using Drupal as an editing environment and then feeding data to a front-end JavaScript application for rendering. Certainly we could have chosen to decouple the entire site. That process, however, brings extra development time and overhead. And in our case, the site isn’t large enough to gain any advantage from rapidly changing the front-end.

So instead we looked at ways to produce a dynamic application within Drupal’s template system. Our technical requirements were pretty standard:

  • A template-driven JavaScript content engine
  • Rendering logic (if/else and simple math)
  • Twig compatibility
  • A single source file that can be served from CDN or an application library

This last requirement is more a personal preference, as I don’t like long, fixed dependency chains during development. I specifically wanted a file I could drop in and use as part of the Drupal front-end.

Based on these requirements and a few basic functionality tests, we settled on the VueJS library. Vue is a well-documented, robust framework that can be run server-side or client-side. It provides DOM-manipulation, templated iteration, and an event-driven interaction API. In short, it was perfect for our needs.

Even better, you can start using it immediately:


At the core of Vue.js is a system that enables us to declaratively render data to the DOM using straightforward template syntax. Vue uses the handlebars syntax -- familiar to Twig users -- to define and print variables set by the application:

  {{ message }}

var app = new Vue({
  el: '#app',
  data: {
    message: 'Hello Vue!'

When working with Twig, which also uses handlebars to wrap variables, we must wrap VueJS variables in the {% verbatim %} directive like so:

  {% verbatim %}{{ item.slug }}{% endverbatim %}

Unless you hardcode variables, Vue pulls all of its data via JSON, which can be provided out-of-the-box by Drupal’s Views module.

To make the application work, we needed to provide the following elements:

  • A JSON feed for content to display, with featured items at the top
  • A JSON feed for each filter to use
  • A JSON feed for insert content

The first elements -- content -- consists of two JSON directives controlled by editors. First, there is a Featured Content field that can be used to select content for the top of the page:

Feature Content list

Editors may choose to only populate this content, and they may choose as many items as they wish. Below this content, we optionally add additional content based on type. Editors may select what types of content to add to the page. For the homepage, we include four content types:

Content Type list

Editors may then select which filters to use, if any are desired. Two options are available, but one can be selected. The filters may be sorted as desired.

Taxonomy Lists

Further, if the editor selects the Filter by Type option, the first filter will be replaced by a Content Type list taken from the selections for the current page. This technique is made easier by the dynamic nature of the VueJS application, which is expecting dynamic content. It has the added bonus of making the work future proof, as editors can add and adjust pages without additional coding.

Case study filtering

Lastly, editors can add “insert” content to the page. These inserts are Drupal Paragraphs -- custom fielded micro-content -- that optionally appear sprinkled through the content.


These inserts leverage Vue’s logic handling and template system. Here is a code snippet for the inserts:





            {% verbatim %}{{ item.slug | decode }}{% endverbatim %}

            {% verbatim %}{{ | decode }}{% endverbatim %}
                {% verbatim %}{{ item.link_text | decode }}{% endverbatim %}


                {% verbatim %}{{ item.link_text | decode }}{% endverbatim %}








{% verbatim %}{{ item.slug | decode }}{% endverbatim %}

          {% verbatim %}{{ item.link_text | decode }}{% endverbatim %}




The v-if directive at the start tells the application to only render the entire template if the parent_id property is present. Since that property is unique to Paragraphs, this template is skipped when rendering a blog post or case study.

In cases of content types, we have a standard output from our JSON feed, so one template covers all use-cases:

Note the v-bind directive here. Vue cannot parse variables directly in HTML tag properties, so it uses this syntax to interact with the DOM and rewrite the element.

Other nice features include adding method calls like {{ getLinkText(item.type) }} that let Vue perform complex calculations on data elements. We also use Vue’s extensible filter system {{ item.summary | decode }} to perform actions like HTML escaping.

For instance, we pass the index position, content type, and background image (if present) to the getClass() method of our application:

// Get proper class for each cell.
getClass: function(index, type, image) {
  var $class = '';
  if (index == 2 || index == 5 || (index > 12 && index % 5 == 1)) {
    $class = $class + ' grid-item--lg';
  if (type == 'Case Study') {
    $class = $class + ' grid-item--cs grid-item--dark';
  else if (type == 'Collection') {
    $class = $class + ' grid-item--collection';
    if (index % 2 == 1) {
      $class = $class + ' grid-item--dark';
  else {
   $class = $class + ' grid-item--default';
  if (image === undefined || image.length === 0) {
    if (index % 2 == 1) {
      return $class + ' grid-item--dark';
    return $class;
  return $class + ' grid-item--dark';

This technique lets us provide the light and dark backgrounds that make the design pop.

Light and dark blocks

The end result is exactly what we need to deliver the experience the audience expects. And we get all that within a sustainable, extensible platform.

Is a decoupled Drupal site right for you? For us, a dynamic (yet not fully decoupled) instance made the most sense to improve the experience for our site users. We’d love to discuss whether or not the same flexibility would be beneficial for your site. Drop us a line via our contact form, or reach out via Twitter (@palantir).

Design Development Drupal Site Building
on May 09, 2018 11:01 PM

A recent survey from Dalia Research shows that 75% of people globally are aware of crypto, but only 4% of non-holders intend to invest within the next 6 months.

New research into the current state of global bottom-up adoption of cryptocurrencies was released in a report by Dalia Research on their Medium blog, May 9. The report shows differences in crypto ownership and knowledge along lines of education, gender, and nationality.

The analysis attempted to “measure the spread of awareness, knowledge, buying intention and ownership of cryptocurrency,” in a survey of over 29,000 internet-connected people in 8 countries with the largest cryptocurrency markets (US, UK, Germany, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, China, and India).

The survey revealed that although on average 75 percent of people globally are “aware” of cryptocurrencies, in terms of actually understanding what crypto is, only 50 percent of respondents answered positively.

Both awareness and knowledge of crypto were highest in South Korea (87 percent, 60 percent) and Japan (83 percent, 61 percent).

The research notably shows that on average, only 4 percent of people who do not already own crypto intend to invest within the next 6 months. Japan and South Korea came out lowest in terms of intent to buy: only 3 percent and 2 percent respectively.

On average, the percentage of respondents who own crypto was higher than the percentage of those who intend to buy. Japan ranked highest in ownership at 11 percent, compared with an average of 7 percent globally. China, which has seen a spate of draconian anti-crypto measures, had the lowest ownership level of 3 percent. The analysts state that a higher ownership rate over intent to buy from non-owners could indicate that “a majority of the early adopters are already on board.”

The report also revealed an 11 percent gender gap favoring men when it comes to knowledge of cryptocurrencies. The UK, US, and Germany had higher gender gaps (at 19 percent) than Asian countries, which were all “in the single digits.” The trend continues in regards to crypto ownership: in the US, the gender gap was 13 percent, compared to 4 percent in China and India.

The survey also showed that higher levels of education correlate with higher levels of crypto ownership (12 percent high education vs 4 percent low education), as well as with buying intention and knowledge of cryptocurrencies (67 percent high vs. 33 percent low).

Dalia Research’s findings appear to align with previous surveys within a few percentage points. In April, a Japanese publication for businessmen found that 14 percent of Japanese men from age 25-30 owned cryptocurrencies. In February, a survey conducted by the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media found that 64 percent of Germans are “aware” of Bitcoin.

The report also resonates with pro-BTC Wall St. Analyst Nick Colas’s pessimistic tone last week about whether mainstream crypto adoption will become a reality anytime soon. He pointed to weak public interest indicators, including fewer Bitcoin Google searches and low crypto wallet growth.

on May 09, 2018 11:00 PM tagged with Adoption

While new information keeps rolling out of Google I/O, some of the recently announced things are creeping out in various forms. After the keynote, we've been expecting some enhancements to Google Photos, and the latest update contains new text that makes it look pretty likely that we'll be getting them soon. There's also a subtle clue that may suggest we'll soon to lock up some of our photos or albums and access them with a fingerprint.

Read More

Google Photos v3.20 prepares to launch suggested actions and may hint at locking photos with a fingerprint [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 10:48 PM tagged with teardown

Pocket Casts was just recently purchased by a group which includes NPR, and the developers have reassured us that their plans for the app haven't changed. But what if Pocket Casts had a slick new look to show for it?

Read More

Google re-imagined Pocket Casts with a beautiful, modern Material design was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 10:22 PM tagged with redesign

This year's Google I/O may not be introducing fancy new hardware, or hitting us with a suite of novel apps, but there is still a lot, lot, lot going on. From impressive enhancements to existing services, to giving us our latest look at Android's next big release, there's no shortage of developments to catch up on. If you're strapped for time and interested in a quick brief on what you've missed, Google's got a highlight reel featuring all the bullet points from this year's keynote.

Read More

Google I/O 2018 keynote supercut: All the biggest news in one 10-minute morsel was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 10:18 PM tagged with video

Jeffrey Tambor has been a reliable presence at the Emmys for the last three years thanks to his performance as Maura Pfefferman on Amazon’s “Transparent,” but the actor won’t be back in the race in 2018. Gold Derby confirms Amazon has pulled Tambor from Emmys consideration for “Transparent” after the actor was fired from the show due to sexual harassment allegations. Tambor would’ve been considered for the show’s fourth season.

Read More:‘Arrested Development’ Season 5 Premieres This May, Netflix Confirms Jeffrey Tambor to Appear at Press Events

The first sexual harassment allegation against Tambor was made in November 2017 by his former assistant, Van Barnes. The actor’s “Transparent” co-star Trace Lysette followed just over a week later with a second allegation, accusing Tambor of making sexually inappropriate remarks towards her in between takes and pressing up against her. Tambor denied the allegations. Following an internal investigation by Amazon, Tambor was fired from the series.

Tambor’s performance in “Transparent” earned three consecutive Emmy nominations for best actor in a comedy series between 2015 and 2017. He won the award in 2015 and also earned a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award during the show’s first three seasons.

While Tambor won’t be in the Emmys race for “Transparent,” he still has the chance to land a nomination thanks to Netflix’s “Arrested Development.” The streaming giant is releasing the fifth season of the popular comedy series on May 29, which makes it eligible for the 2018 Emmys. Tambor’s “Arrested Development” role has received two nominations for supporting actor in 2004 and 2005. Netflix confirmed earlier this month Tambor would appear as normal in the new season.

“Transparent” will return for a fifth and final season without Tambor. IndieWire has reached out to Amazon for comment.

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on May 09, 2018 10:09 PM tagged with Jeffrey Tambor

On HBO’s “Barry,” death follows the titular hitman-turned-actor wherever he goes, even when he’s trying very hard not to kill anyone. No really, he’s turning over a new leaf, starting right… now.

At an FYC event for the show on Tuesday, the cast and crew gathered to watch a screening of the finale and then participate in a Q&A panel about the HBO comedy. Comedian John Mulaney, who moderated the panel, had the following non-spoilers reaction to the finale: “Boy, oh, boy! SHIT!”

That set the tone of the no-holds-barred but hilarious conversation, made even more unruly by the friendship between “Saturday Night Live” alums Mulaney (who had written for “SNL” and recently hosted) and “Barry” star and co-creator Bill Hader. Much of the evening revolved around the two of them setting up comedic bits, performing various impressions or goofy voices, and miming actions that just cannot be conveyed beyond “you had to be there.”

Read More:Summer TV Preview: The 30 Most Anticipated New and Returning Series

While it’s safe to say that finale follows the humorous and dark path that had been laid out in the season so far, what comes next season may push the envelope even more. During the audience portion of the Q&A, IndieWire asked what’s being planned for Season 2.

“What can we say about Season 2? It somehow is a bit darker,” Hader said, “We’re writing Season 2 right now.”

Co-creator Alec Berg added, “Every episode, it’s what cards have we dealt ourselves the week before. What would logically happen?”

While Hader wouldn’t tip his hand as far as specific storylines for Season 2, he has no shortage of ideas. “My head’s going to explode,” he said. “I was just in traffic for an hour and a half. I saw Alec and just pulled him aside, and was like, ‘Here’s what it can be.’”

When Mulaney jokingly asked if a Christmas or Halloween episode was in the works, Hader responded in kind.

“It’ll be a big thing where everybody wears the same costume to a thing,” he said. “It’s really fun. I don’t want to blow it, but everybody dresses up. It’s an ‘80s theme. You know what? Just forget it. It’s like ’21 Jump Street’ – forget it.”

Also attending the Q&A were fellow cast members Henry Winkler, Paula Newsome, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Glenn Fleshler, and Anthony Carrigan. Check out more highlights from the panel:

1. The Rejected Show That Made Way for “Barry”

Hader and Berg knew they wanted to collaborate and were meeting at a diner regularly to work on ideas. They had one concept they hashed over for about six weeks before finally rejecting it. Once they trashed that idea were they able to make creative room for what “Barry” would become.

Not one to let any idea die, Mulaney asked about the show that never saw the light of day.

“It was about a guy I went to high school with. It was a very over-age, wacky Oklahoma thing that even talking about it makes me nauseous,” said Hader. “It’s basically the guy I played in ‘Hot Rod,’ it was a whole thing based on… Eric Singleton, my friend who was back home who was on acid, metal went into his eye. Yeah, he’s an idiot. I was like ‘Oh, I should do a whole show about that,’ and then decided it had no stakes. ‘I don’t want to tune into this.’”

Read More:To Spoil or Not to Spoil? TV Critics Reveal Their Policies About Discussing Shocking Events

2. Henry Winkler’s Non-Competition

Bill Hader and Henry Winkler,

Bill Hader and Henry Winkler, “Barry”


Henry Winkler, who plays acting coach Gene Cousineau, was excited to audition for the part, but he wanted to make sure he actually had a chance to get the part and not waste his time.

“I got a call that Bill Hader … had me on a short list,” said Winkler. “And I said, ‘Is Dustin Hoffman on the list? Because if he is, I’m not going to read because he’s going to get it… I was relieved he was not on the list.”

As for Winkler’s first impressions of the script, he added, “It was like reading cashmere as opposed to a cotton blend.”

3. Stephen Root’s Bruise Clues

In a key scene in Episode 5, Fuches (Root) must convince Barry to take out Taylor (Dale Pavinski). It takes place in Fuches’ room with him wearing only a towel, which reveals that he’s bruised all over his upper torso.

Root revealed that many of those bruises were actually his own. “I had just come from a cupping,” he said, referring to the alternative medicine practice that draws tissue into a cup by creating a vacuum. “It bruises your shoulders really bad. They just added a couple more [for the scene]. [I’m] very, very method.”

Hader also noted that initially, Fuches was initially supposed to yell and coerce Barry to agree to killing Taylor, but after a few takes, Root tried a different tactic.

“You sat down and you did it friendly,” Hader said to Root. “It was so persuasive. That is what a good actor does.”

4. “Barry” Listens to Women

As IndieWire reported earlier in the season, a storyline in which Sarah Goldberg’s character Sally deals with a #MeToo moment came about because the women in the writers’ room were standing up for Sally’s character.

During a meeting with Sarah’s potential agent, he says, “I get to this point with a lot of my prospective clients where I have a decision to make: Do I wanna sign them or do I wanna fuck them?” After an awkward pause, he plays it off as a joke, and she even ends up apologizing to him to ease the embarrassment.

At the FYC panel, Hader once again reiterated that the episode and another key interaction with Sally on the show came about because “we had women on the staff.”

“We asked what would happen [in real life],” said Hader. “They said she would apologize. So we said, ‘Okay, she’s going to apologize.’ It’s brutal.”

Read More:The Best Limited Series of the 21st Century, Ranked

Also in that episode, Barry gives Sally a laptop as a gift, but she calls it out as a “weird Tony Soprano move.” When Hader initially conceived of the gesture, he said, “She was going to like it in our version.”

But the response from the women on staff was once again enlightening and unanimous that it was “super-fucking creepy,” Berg said.

5. The Origins of NoHo Hank

Anthony Carrigan,

Anthony Carrigan, “Barry”


When Anthony Carrigan auctioned for the role of Chechen mobster NoHo Hank, he guessed that other actors would probably approach the role from the typical tough guy angle.

“When I first read this character, I thought, ‘Wow, what to do with this?” said Carrigan. “Most everyone else took the mobster route, very intimidating. I thought, ‘No, fuck that… I’ll have fun with it and make him really sweet.’ [NoHo Hank] really brightens things up. He’s very chipper, very polite, he’s a bit of a people pleaser. He just wants to make sure everyone’s happy in the world of organized crime.”

Hader described NoHo Hank as “the guy from the Genius Bar at Apple. Goran has got to have a guy…. he’s helpful and accommodating.”

The ”Barry” finale airs Sunday at 10:45 p.m. ET after “Silicon Valley” on HBO.

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on May 09, 2018 10:02 PM tagged with HBO

Google has cycled through various versions of Do Not Disturb functionality going all the way back to Lollipop. It was pretty complicated back then, but DND in Oreo is straightforward—DND keeps your phone from making noise. DND in the second Android P developer preview changes Do Not Disturb mode substantially. It blocks both audio and visual distractions by hiding most notifications on your device.

By default, DND in the new Android P clears your notification shade of content that isn't related to basic phone functionality.

Read More

Android P DP2 completely hides most notifications in Do Not Disturb mode was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 09:39 PM tagged with series_android_p_feature_spotlights

Cathy Yan’s recent recruitment to the DC Universe was a welcome surprise: Deadline reported April 17 that she will direct an upcoming Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment collaboration starring Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and a band of fellow female supervillains. The untitled project by screenwriter Christina Hodson (“Bumbleblee”) — likely adapted from the “Birds of Prey” comics — will be just the second feature from Yan, whose “Dead Pigs” won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at January’s Sundance Film Festival.

With this assignment, Yan becomes the first Asian woman to oversee a superhero epic, and only the third woman ever to direct for DC (Patty Jenkins has the “Wonder Woman” series, while Ava DuVernay will helm “The New Gods”). During the junket for Robbie’s May 11 release “Terminal,” IndieWire asked the actress — who will also produce Yan’s tentpole — why she was adamant that studio hire a female director.

Read More:The Best Version of a Joker Movie Already Happened, With Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy

“Well, it’s a female girl gang film,” Robbie chuckled. “Historically, female filmmakers aren’t given the same opportunities, and we all need to be making conscious efforts to even out those statistics. But beyond that, there was going to be so many integral female characters in this story, in the Harley Quinn one, the girl gang film, that I wanted a truly female point of view and perspective on telling that story.” According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, only eight of last year’s 100 top-grossing movies were directed by women.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad

Robbie as Harley Quinn in “Suicide Squad”

Warner Bros.

However, Robbie does not believe “male directors can’t tell female stories, and vice versa[…]I don’t think we need it segregated into male/female. [In] ‘Terminal,’ Vaughn [Stein] obviously wrote and directed a female-driven film. Same thing with ‘I, Tonya’: Steven [Rogers] wrote it, a guy; Craig [Gillespie] directed it, a guy, and they understood that character in and out. I love directors who don’t really see the gender, they just see a person.”

Read More:‘I, Tonya’: How the Man Who Wrote ‘Hope Floats’ Created the Year’s Most Unexpectedly Empowering Feminist Biopic

As to why Yan’s vision won out, Robbie cites the “really amazing” “Dead Pigs,” which left no doubts in Yan’s “incredible” talent. “Half the pitch was seeing her film,” said Robbie. “You could just see that that’s someone who’s a very capable filmmaker. It doesn’t scare me to see her do a film on a much larger scale because she clearly has the instincts and the organizational skills, and she can delegate. You can’t pull off a film in China for as little money as she had, and make it look so incredible, and still care about the characters more than anything, right? I mean, she just — in my mind — nailed it. And though [the Harley Quinn project]’s a very different movie, it’s all the things that I needed to see that a filmmaker could accomplish to to feel confident that they could accomplish this movie. So, ‘Dead Pigs’ had that in spades. I loved the film.”

Yan also mastered the DC material. “It’s just fun to work on anything for that long and then hear someone understand what you’ve been looking at on the page for three years, and have them come in and speak about it,” said Robbie. “It’s exciting.”

Although “I, Tonya” came out first — earning Robbie an acting Oscar nod — her first project as both lead and producer was noir thriller “Terminal,” shot in Budapest during Summer 2016 (Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros. in December). She’d like to direct herself, one day. “I feel like I haven’t earned the right to direct yet,” she said. “Until there’s a story that I feel like I could really give a truly unique perspective on, that no one else could, then I don’t think I should be the one to tell it.”

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on May 09, 2018 09:29 PM tagged with Margot Robbie

Android P is packed with visual changes. Some of them are more popular than others, but Google has certainly been pushing out a ton of tweaks to the platform's design, especially when it comes to Android's animations. And the latest DP2 builds released just yesterday during I/O pack in a pretty slick new heads-up notification animation.

A picture is worth 1,000 words, so here's a GIF. (I'm gonna bill this as a novel, Artem.)

The new animation is delightfully bouncy, plopping downward from the notification tray and expanding as necessary when content changes.

Read More

Heads-up notification animations in Android P DP2 are pretty snazzy was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 09:25 PM tagged with series_android_p_feature_spotlights

Cinema is unique from other art forms because one has the ability to cut through time and space, connecting images to create new meanings. Editing strategies are often discussed as part of a director’s overall vision, which makes it hard to decipher – without background knowledge – how an editor aids, influences, and sometimes even reinvents the original intentions of the material.

Which brings us Anne V. Coates, whose death on Tuesday capped a 70-year career – stretching from England to the U.S., through a long and varied list of great directors at turning points in their careers. Viewed as a whole, they illustrate a string of shrewd editing strategies that is unparalleled in film history. It’s also a career that didn’t go unrecognized – she won an Oscar for “Lawrence of Arabia” and honorary Oscar in 2016 — but few people can speak to the specifics of her skills.

Coates’ strengths fells into two key areas: identifying and accentuating a film’s internal rhythm (especially in terms of a star performance) regardless of the filmmaking trends of the day; and strengthening the audience’s emotional understanding of the characters’ internal state.

This example from “Unfaithful” is pure Anne Coates:

One stellar example of Coates’ work, and the one that best speaks to her larger contribution to the medium as a whole, is a sequence from Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight” when straight-edged cop Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) and expert robber Jack Foley (George Clooney) take the risk to spend one night together. The scene intercuts a dialogue scene of the two flirting in the hotel bar and a non-dialogue scene in which they’re intimate in the hotel bedroom.

Read More:8 Times Steven Soderbergh Broke the Rules of Filmmaking and Invented New One

Coates first cut the two scenes straight, separating as they had been in the script, but then she and Soderbergh started playing with them and discovered the alchemy of overlapping the two. Allowing the audience to simultaneously feel both the mounting sexual anticipation, the story beats of the Elmore Leonard dialogue, and the sexual act itself creates more than just a stronger piece of storytelling — it imbues the film with a unique tone that still distinguishes this sexy, melancholic screwball adaptation to this day.

Anne V. Coates and Damien Chazelle'La La Land' film cocktail celebration, Los Angeles, USA - 21 Nov 2016

Damien Chazelle absorbing the brilliance of Anne V. Coates.

Katie Jones/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Of course, the cross-cutting sequence — along with the film’s freeze frames — is a technique closely associated with Soderbergh’s body of work. From the start of his career, right up today with his his inventing a whole new form and technology for HBO’s “Mosaic,” Soderbergh has been pushing the boundaries of conventional storytelling, trying to find ways to play with narrative that is more a collection of character moments free from the confines of plot. One might say that Coates helped him discover this ongoing motif.

Read More:‘Blade Runner 2049’ Used Sound to Build a Sci-Fi Dystopia from Scratch — Watch

Coates has said that she wasn’t an inclined to use so much “trickery” as Soderbergh early on, and yet before their collaboration that is exactly what Soderbergh’s playful editing felt like: arty gimmicks. He was reaching for something, and he certainly knew what he wanted, but getting there had been a learning curve in which the seams were in plain sight. With “Out of Sight,” his most commercial film to date by far, he had finally figured out a way to create his unique brand of cinematic exploration – uncovering depth underneath George Clooney’s cool charm, while delivering on the breezy fun of a Leonard adaptation. For the first time, Soderbergh’s attempt to deconstruct the continuity of space and time felt both fluid and emotionally resonant.

Soderbergh would work again with Coates, letting her edit “Erin Brockovich” essentially on her own, but it was “Out of Sight” that enabled Soderbergh to find the style he needed to keep moving forward. His next film was one of his masterpieces, “The Limey,” in which the bold elliptical editing structure create a stream-of-conscientious quality with the emotional texture of a memory that reflects the internal state of the protagonist (Terence Stamp).

Soderbergh, who now exclusively edits his TV shows and movies – often the same evening he shoots the footage – was always headed down the path he continues to blaze. But it’s hard to consider Soderbergh’s career in terms of his output before Coates’ involvement and after it. The content and style was belonged to his vision, but she unquestionably helped him realize it at a pivotal moment.

It’s one of countless examples of how Coates made many movies not only better, but often allowed them to exist on a higher plain and unlock their potential.

Below, watch Coates talk about “Out of Sight”:

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on May 09, 2018 09:10 PM tagged with Steven Soderbergh

Google started rolling out a new interface for Gmail last month, with a much brighter appearance and more rounded elements. In a surprise announcement, the company is now doing the same for Google Drive. Beyond the much brighter interface, there are some small functional changes.

Here are the alterations that Google pointed out:

  • The logo in the top left has been changed to the Google Drive logo.
  • If you’ve added a custom company logo, it is now in the top right.
Read More

Google Drive gets a new web interface to match Gmail was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 09:02 PM tagged with web

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Sample of Gender Identification Questions from the Open Demographics Initiative

© Open Demographics Initiative's gender identification questions

Last week, Nikki Stevens presented "Other, Please Specify" for TEDx at Arizona State University. In her TED Talk, Nikki shares the story behind the Open Demographics Initiative, which is developing a recommended set of questions that anyone can use to ask online community members about their demographics.

Nikki demonstrates how a majority of demographic surveys require users to conform to restrictive identity fields, which can alienate minority or underrepresented groups. The Open Demographics Initiative wants to develop forms that are more inclusive, in addition to giving people more control over the data and information they chose to disclose.

Inspired by Nikki's presentation, I reached out to the engineering team at the Drupal Association to see if there are plans to implement the Open Demographics Initiative's recommendations on I was happy to learn that they are collaborating with the Open Demographics team to add the recommendations to the user registration process on

Adopting Open Demographics on will also allow us to improve reporting on diversity and inclusion, which in turn will help us better support initiatives that advance diversity and inclusion. Plus, we can lead by example and inspire other organizations to do the same.

Thank you Nikki, for sharing the story behind the Open Demographics Initiative, and for helping to inspire change in the Drupal community.

on May 09, 2018 09:01 PM

Ring, the company behind the popular connected doorbell, recently published an app called Neighbors. The idea is to connect neighborhoods together by providing residents with real-time security and crime alerts and safety information. This function was previously limited to the Ring app, but now it's being broken out into its own affair.

The app provides push notifications for alerts and displays a map with info published by fellow neighbors, the Ring team, and law enforcement.

Read More

Neighbors by Ring is a neighborhood watch app that provides real-time alerts, crime reports, and safety information was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 08:55 PM tagged with security

Ricky Gervais may be a little bit obsessed with getting to say whatever he wants — and he’s now making a show which is about exactly that.

Gervais will create, executive produce, direct, and star in the upcoming Netflix series “After Life,” the plot of which was described on Wednesday by Netflix:

Tony (Ricky Gervais) had a perfect life. But after his wife Lisa suddenly dies, Tony changes. After contemplating taking his own life, he decides instead to live long enough to punish the world by saying and doing whatever he likes from now on. He thinks it’s like a Super Power — not caring about himself or anyone else — but it turns out to be tricky when everyone is trying to save the nice guy they used to know.

Gervais announced the news on his Twitter feed with the below message:

The premise of the show isn’t a bad one…but it’s also impossible to separate from its creator. Over the last several years, Gervais has made it a part of his personal brand that he’ll say whatever he wants to say, and seems to relish the outrage that ensues. Take his latest stand-up special, wherein it becomes clear that as much as Gervais wants to put forward his own strong opinions about topics, he also pays close attention to what the press writes about him. (In which case: Hi, Mr. Gervais!)

Read More:Ricky Gervais’ New Netflix Special Opens With Smugly Transphobic Caitlyn Jenner Jokes

At the same time, in “Ricky Gervais: Humanity,” he also chose to go hard on transphobic material, to the point that IndieWire’s Jude Dry said, of his bits regarding Caitlyn Jenner, “Thanks to Netflix, billions of people around the world now think they can justify their hate with mediocre jokes as well.”

Gervais wants to say whatever he wants to say, but seems relatively uncaring about the concept of punching up versus punching down in the process. In fact, Gervais has been “problematic” (using those quotes because certainly he’d use them sarcastically) for years now, though, as called out by writer Lindy West on Jezebel in 2014, who noted that between jokes on Twitter about fat people and the mentally disabled, he’d abandoned the sort of sensitive, grounded, yet still brutal humor that initially made him such an international icon.

There may be a reason for this shift: Critically and commercially, there’s no doubt that Gervais’s stardom was built on the foundation of “The Office” and “Extras,” both of which were shows he collaborated on with his former partner Stephen Merchant. The two haven’t worked together in years, and Gervais has only ever said, in March 2018, that they are doing their “own things.”

In an interview last year with IndieWire, Gervais emphasized how much it meant for him to have creative control, and how he feels like if he can make a project on his own terms, then it doesn’t really matter what the critical response is like. “If you get your own way, and you enjoyed doing it, you’re pretty bulletproof,” he said.

Read More:Ricky Gervais Doesn’t Mind Bad Reviews — As Long As He Gets Creative Control

But Gervais’s “own things” since splitting with Merchant haven’t hit the same level of cultural impact of his early works, and while it’s hard to say if “After Life” is the project that will witness him rebound after the poorly reviewed “Special Correspondents” and more positively reviewed (but still disappointing) “David Brent: Life on the Road,” it is unfortunate that instead of aiming to elevate new voices or create new narratives, his fixation is on the idea of a man choosing to say whatever he wants — hardly something he’s experienced real conflict in making possible, thanks to his ongoing film and television projects.

In fact, Gervais is already joking on Twitter about how it’s “what straight white dudes do”:

Though it’s not clear how much of a real joke that is.

“Writing what you know” isn’t necessarily bad advice for creators, but it’s an idea that, honestly, feels lazy, and we’ve seen little evidence that Gervais feels pushed to go beyond the easy execution of the “After Life” premise. Daring to be offensive is funny when it’s honed and targeted towards the right people, and it’d be amazing if that proved to be the case for Gervais’ new show. But in order for that to happen, he might have to listen to other people. Bringing in a strong collaborator who might challenge him would be a start.

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on May 09, 2018 08:55 PM tagged with Ricky Gervais

Google's Home/Assistant have been able to pull media from your Netflix subscription for a while now, but playback for first-party Play Movies content has been unavailable. Based on recent reports, that may be set to change. For some, media in Play Movies can now be triggered for playback on a Chromecast by asking a Google Home.

We were tipped off to the new behavior by Trent Archer, who was able to record the video above demonstrating the new feature.

Read More

Google Home may have playback controls for Play Movies soon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 08:52 PM tagged with video

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are now available worldwide, but it looks like Samsung isn't done with the S8 lineup just yet. The company already makes a number of budget phones, like its popular A8 and A8+ . Samsung appears to be working on another mid-range device, using the shell of last year's flagship.


The 'Galaxy S8 Lite' will use the same shell as the S8, and a few press renders have already leaked.

Read More

Galaxy S8 Lite appears in leak, may be announced May 21 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 08:39 PM tagged with leak

Announced yesterday at I/O, custom routines for Google Assistant are going live now. Custom routines allow you to set a command word or phrase and choose from a range of actions and outputs from the Assistant, including the ability to set custom voice feedback from the Assistant, which should make for all kinds of fun. You'll also be able to send the Assistant any command you want - just type it into the "Add action" field.

Read More

Custom routines for Google Assistant are going live was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 08:36 PM tagged with routines
Google wants to foster JOMO—the joy of missing out—by helping users understand their habits and unplug from their phones.
on May 09, 2018 08:34 PM tagged with Science

So much of our attention right now is focused on what's new with the Android P Beta, but it's not the only platform update Google's introducing this week at I/O. Back in March, Google started the next chapter of its wearable story with the re-branding of Android Wear as Wear OS, followed a couple weeks later by the release of the first Wear OS Developer Preview. Now we're taking a look at what's been tweaked since then, as Google makes available Wear OS DP2.

Read More

Wear OS Developer Preview 2 delivers enhanced battery saver mode was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 08:31 PM tagged with Wear OS DP2

The original Iron Man suit Robert Downey, Jr. wore in Jon Favreau’s 2008 tentpole has been stolen from Movie Prop Storage in Pacoima, LA. The Los Angeles Times first reported the burglary. The Iron Man suit is valued at $325,000. Workers at the prop house allege the suit must have gone missing between February and April 25.

Read More:‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Thanos Is a Marvel VFX Game Changer

Los Angeles Police Department Sargent Barry Montgomery confirmed to Deadline that the burglary is being investigated by the LAPD. “It was reported by the storage facility that the prop was missing. It is considered a burglary,” Montgomery said. The Movie Prop Storage facility is located on Weidner St.

The stolen suit was the first Iron Man costume to be worn by Downey, Jr. ten years ago when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was first taking shape. The news arrives as Marvel dominates the worldwide box office with the record-breaking “Avengers: Infinity War,” which includes Downey, Jr. as Iron Man.

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on May 09, 2018 08:25 PM tagged with Robert Downey Jr.
The telecom giant confirms that it paid President Trump's personal lawyer $200,000 "to provide insights into understanding the new administration."
on May 09, 2018 08:04 PM tagged with Business
It's a powerful tool, but recent incidents have shown that there's no winning with facial recognition.
on May 09, 2018 08:04 PM tagged with Security

Last September, I had the privilege to publicly announce our Azure confidential computing efforts, where Microsoft Azure became the first cloud platform to enable new data security capabilities that protect customer data while in use. The Azure team, alongside Microsoft Research, Intel, Windows, and our Developer Tools group, have been working together to bring Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) such as Intel SGX and Virtualization Based Security (VBS - previously known as Virtual Secure mode) to the cloud. TEEs protect data being processed from access outside the TEE. We’re ready to share more details about our confidential cloud vision and the work we’ve done since the announcement.

Many companies are moving their mission critical workloads and data to the cloud, and the security benefits that public clouds provide is in many cases accelerating that adoption. In their 2017 CloudView study, International Data Corporation (IDC) found that 'improving security' was one of the top drivers for companies to move to the cloud. However, security concerns still remain a commonly cited blocker for moving extremely sensitive IP and data scenarios to the cloud. Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) recently published the latest version of its Treacherous 12 Threats to Cloud Computing report. Not surprisingly, data breach ranked among the top cloud threats, and they included three additional data security concerns, specifically breaches caused by system vulnerabilities, malicious insiders, and shared technology vulnerabilities.

Azure Confidential Computing is aimed at protecting data while it’s processed in the cloud. It is the cornerstone of our 'Confidential Cloud' vision, which includes the following principles:

  • Top data breach threats are mitigated
  • Data is fully in the control of the customer regardless of whether in rest, transit, or use and even though the infrastructure is not
  • Code running in the cloud is protected and verifiable by the customer
  • Data and code are opaque to the cloud platform, or put another way the cloud platform is outside of the trusted computing base

While today this technology may be applied to a subset of data processing scenarios, we expect as it matures that it will become the new norm for all data processing, both in the cloud and on the edge.

Delivering on this vision requires us to innovate across hardware, software, and services that support confidential computing:

  1. Hardware: Over the past several years, we have worked closely with silicon partners to add features that isolate applications during computation and to make those features accessible in multiple operating systems. Through our close partnership, we are making the latest Intel secure enclave innovations available to customers as soon as they are ready.

    We are excited to announce availability of the latest generation of Intel Xeon Processors with Intel SGX technology in our East US Azure region. You will have access to hardware-based features and functionality in the cloud, before it is broadly available on-premise.

  1. Compute: We are extending our Azure compute platform to deploy and manage compute instances that are enabled with TEEs.

    We are introducing a new family of virtual machines (DC-series) that are enabled with the latest generation of Intel Xeon Processors with Intel SGX technology. With this release, you are able to run SGX-enabled applications in the cloud to protect the confidentiality and integrity of your code and data.

  1. Development: We are working closely with partners to drive an API for Windows and Linux that is consistent across TEEs, both hardware and software-based, so that confidential application code is portable. In addition, we’re working on tooling and debugging support for developing and testing confidential applications.

    You are able to build C/C++ applications with the Intel SGX SDK and additional enclave APIs.

  1. Attestation: Verifying the identity of code running in TEEs is necessary to establish trust with that code to determine whether to release secrets to it. We are partnering with silicon vendors to design and host attestation services that make verification simple and highly available.
  1. Services/Use cases: Virtual machines provide the building block on top of which to enable new secure business scenarios and use cases. We are actively working across Microsoft to develop services and products that leverage confidential computing, including:
    1. Protecting data confidentiality and integrity through SQL Server Always Encrypted
    2. Creating a trusted distributed network among a set of untrusted participants with our Confidential Consortium Blockchain Framework for highly scalable and confidential blockchain networks
    3. Confidentially combining multiple data sources to support secure multi-party machine learning scenarios
  1. Research: Microsoft Research has been working closely with the Azure team and silicon partners to identify and prevent TEE vulnerabilities. For example, we are actively researching advanced techniques to harden TEE application to prevent information leaks outside the TEE, both direct or indirect. We will bring this research to market in the form of tooling and runtimes for your use in developing confidential code.

You can sign up today to request preview access to get started with our confidential compute platform, software, tooling, and developer community.  Join us in building cloud applications and services that mitigate against the 'treacherous threats of cloud computing'. We look forward to hearing your feedback and partnering with you to build the future of confidential cloud computing.

on May 09, 2018 08:04 PM tagged with Security

How the Open Demographics Initiative recommends you ask for gender information© Open Demographics Initiative's gender identification questions

Last week, Nikki Stevens presented "Other, Please Specify" for TEDx at Arizona State University. In her TED Talk, Nikki shares the story behind the Open Demographics Initiative, which is developing a recommended set of questions that anyone can use to ask online community members about their demographics.

Nikki demonstrates how a majority of demographic surveys require users to conform to restrictive identity fields, which can alienate minority or underrepresented groups. The Open Demographics Initiative wants to develop forms that are more inclusive, in addition to giving people more control over the data and information they chose to disclose.

Inspired by Nikki's presentation, I reached out to the engineering team at the Drupal Association to see if there are plans to implement the Open Demographics Initiative's recommendations on I was happy to learn that they are collaborating with the Open Demographics team to add the recommendations to the user registration process on

Adopting Open Demographics on will also allow us to improve reporting on diversity and inclusion, which in turn will help us better support initiatives that advance diversity and inclusion. Plus, we can lead by example and inspire other organizations to do the same.

Thank you Nikki, for sharing the story behind the Open Demographics Initiative, and for helping to inspire change in the Drupal community.

on May 09, 2018 08:01 PM

Sony revealed the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. Both phones look radically different than every other Sony device released in the past few years, with smaller bezels and 18:9 screens. Verizon has now certified the XZ2 Compact, allowing it to be used on the company's network.

While Verizon isn't selling the phone, at least for now, it will allow customers to activate an existing XZ2 Compact.

Read More

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact now works on Verizon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 08:01 PM tagged with xperia xz2

Bloomberg and Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank have announced a collaborative launch of a crypto benchmark index.

Bloomberg and Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital Management have launched the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI) that will track ten cryptocurrencies from the “largest, most liquid portion of the cryptocurrency market,” Bloomberg reports today, May 9.

The coins to be listed on the index currently are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, ESO, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Ethereum Classic, and Zcash. Bloomberg writes that the BGCI offers the “first institutional benchmark for the cryptocurrency market.”

Global Product Manager for Bloomberg Indices, Alan Campbell, said that the “launch of the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index reflects our clients’ growing interest in cryptocurrencies.” Last week, Goldman Sachs reported that they would begin trading in Bitcoin contracts after being “inundated” with client requests for the service.

At the beginning of April, a former Goldman Sachs executive reportedly joined Galaxy Digital as its new COO. More recently, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange showed an interest in allowing its customers to hold and sell Bitcoin.

on May 09, 2018 08:00 PM tagged with Michael Novogratz

During the Google I/O keynote, Google talked about the WaveNet voice engine and how it was making speech synthesis more realistic. To drive the point home, Google announced six new Assistant voices were coming to devices. We expected them to roll out at a later date, but they're already live in the Assistant settings.

The voices appear to be out on all devices. We've checked Pixels on Android P, a Galaxy S9, and more.

Read More

Google's six new Assistant voices are now live was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 07:58 PM tagged with WaveNet

NFC payments on Android used to be very much a free for all, but the company increasingly clamped down as Android Pay (and now Google Pay) rolled out. When a device doesn't pass SafetyNet because of modifications or even an unlocked bootloader, you can't make NFC payments. That was a problem with the first Android P developer preview, but the newly released DP2 does allow you to use Google Pay. Well, in some instances.

Read More

Confirmed: Google Pay works on Android P DP2, but only if you don't unlock the bootloader was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 07:30 PM tagged with Google Pay

ZTE was accused of dodging United States sanctions on Iran in 2016, by selling technology from the U.S. to Iran through multiple shell companies. The US Department of Commerce threatened to cut off ZTE from all its supply chain partners in the United States, which ZTE avoided by paying nearly a billion dollars in fines.

Last month, the Department of Commerce officially instated the ban, alleging that ZTE had violated the terms of the sanction case.

Read More

ZTE shuts down main operations while talks with U.S. continue was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 07:28 PM tagged with zte

In 2016, we called the JBL Everest Elite 700s' $300 MSRP "a decent price point." Then, in February of this year, refurbished models were going for $120 on Woot. That was a good deal. Now they're $69.99 on Woot, which is a heck of a deal.

You can choose black or white, and shipping is free for Amazon Prime subscribers. Our verdict on the noise-canceling 700s was that they sound nice and they're pretty comfortable, which is generally what people look for in headphones, but the companion app is pretty bad.

Read More

[Deal Alert] Factory refurbished JBL Everest Elite 700 Bluetooth headphones are just $69.99 today on Woot was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 07:15 PM tagged with noise canceling

Despite frequent updates, Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) is definitely stagnating from a hardware perspective. Most watches use Qualcomm's Wear 2100 processor, which is over two years old at this point. At long last, the company is working on a brand new mobile chipset for wearables, which will arrive this fall.

The new chip was confirmed by Qualcomm's senior director of wearables, Pankaj Kedia. It will be revealed this fall, alongside a 'lead' smartwatch using the chipset.

Read More

Qualcomm will launch new processor for wearables this fall was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 07:10 PM tagged with wearables

When I used the iPhone X for a month, one of the things I most loved about the experience was Apple's gesture navigation model. It was simple and, once I'd become accustomed to it, extremely quick and natural to use. The bonus to Apple's approach is that it completely obviated the need for anything like software navigation keys, opening up more of the screen for content. The iPhone X also looks striking as a result - the edge-to-edge screen displays content from top to bottom - and it allowed Apple to keep the phone a more manageable size.

Read More

Android P's gesture navigation is bad, Google was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 07:06 PM tagged with io2018

But who could possibly play Coach? Variety reports that “Stronger” and “All the Real Girls” filmmaker David Gordon Green is in final negotiations to direct a “reimagining” of the 2004 Universal film “Friday Night Lights,” which later spawned a beloved NBC series of the same name. The outlet hastens to add that this new film is both not a sequel to the film, directed by Peter Berg, or based on the series which starred Kyle Chandler as the lauded coach of a Texas high school football team.

Instead, the film will be a “new property” that is “still focused H.G. Bissinger’s non-fiction book about the 1988 Permian High School Panthers as the new Texas football team makes a run towards the state championship.” The book served as the inspiration for both the original film and television series.

Variety adds that Universal has long been eager to get back on the field with the enduring story of scrappy players and the town that loves them, including ideas that would have seen a sequel to the original film or even a new feature based on Chandler’s character. Apparently, the studio opted to “pursue a story with a completely different setting and cast of characters, while still focused on the world of high school in Texas and the impact it has the community.”

Read More:‘Halloween’: Danny McBride Says He and David Gordon Green Will Stay True to the Original by Focusing on Dread, Not Gore

Best known in indie circles for his early films like “George Washington” and “All the Real Girls,” Green memorably veered off into studio comedy — with mixed results — with star-laden films like “Pineapple Express,” “Your Highness,” and “The Sitter.” His recent choices, however, including off-kilter indies like “Manglehorn” and “Prince Avalanche” have hinted at a return to his roots, and Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle “Stronger” made a brief (and deserving) run at awards glory.

He will next bow his “Halloween” sequel later this year (which earned strong early buzz at last month’s CinemaCon) and is currently in pre-production on the drama “Newsflash,” which follows newsman Walter Cronkite as he covers the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (his “Pineapple Express” star Seth Rogen is on board to play Cronkite).

Brian Grazer will produce the new film for Imagine Entertainment.

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on May 09, 2018 07:02 PM tagged with Film

Crypto markets see a mix of green and red amidst criticism from Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger and Bill Gates.

May 9: crypto markets are seeing a mix of green and red after Bitcoin (BTC) challenged $10,000 on Saturday, May 5, only to be followed by a subsequent drop to as low as $9,000 during the weekend.

The markets have since retraced their losses somewhat, with Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) showing gains of around 2 percent each over 24 hours to press time. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has displayed the largest growth among top 10 cryptocurrencies, up 6 percent over 24 hours, according to Coinmarketcap data.

Market visualization

Market visualization by Coin360

In terms of absolute value, Bitcoin is hovering around the $9,300 mark at press time, after it stopped inches away from dipping below $9,000 earlier today.

Bitcoin price chart

Bitcoin price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum is following Bitcoin’s trend, with gains of 2 percent over 24 hours to press time. After experiencing significant growth of about 90 percent over the last 30 days, the altcoin is trading at $756.

Ethereum price chart

Ethereum price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Total market cap is currently at $436 bln after dipping as low as $415 bln earlier today.

Total market capitalization chart

Total market capitalization chart. Source: Coinmarketcap

The latest selloff on the crypto market took place amidst criticism of Bitcoin by Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and CEO Warren Buffett and the company’s vice chair Charlie Munger. Over the past four days, the latter has alternated between comparing cryptocurrency trading to “trading turds” or even trading “freshly harvested baby brains.”

May 7, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates echoed the Berkshire Hathaway executives’ scepticism of crypto, claiming that he “would short it if he could.” The statement of the billionaire businessman sparked negative reactions from the crypto community on Twitter. CEO and co-founder of Gemini Bitcoin exchange Tyler Winklevoss and host of CNBC’s show Cryptotrader Ran Neuner have both made comments that it is, in fact, possible to short Bitcoin:

on May 09, 2018 07:01 PM tagged with Cryptocurrencies

Cringe comedy isn’t for everyone, but the best forms of it — “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Comeback,” “Peep Show” — find a way to make the awkward situations their characters go through feel necessary. It helps make that discomfort relatable and cathartic for the audience.

The Sundance Now acquisition “Motherland” has the perfect set-up: What’s more socially awkward than the passive aggressive, gossip-filled, and cliquey world of parenting? Though creators Sharon Horgan (“Catastrophe”), Graham Linehan (“The IT Crowd”), Helen Linehan, and Holly Walsh (“Dead Boss”) build this chaotic existence well, they also shoot themselves in the foot by making their main characters self-destructive instead of self-sustaining. They don’t survive the madness so much as they consciously perpetuate it and then complain about the problems they’ve created.

Read More:‘Better Things’: Pamela Adlon on the Secret Plan Behind Her Jaw-Dropping Dance Scene and a Surprise ‘Coach’ for Season 3

Following one working mom who’s trying to balance her professional and familial responsibilities, “Motherland” begins on a particularly panicked day when Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) meets her fellow primary caregivers. She’s bouncing around between responsibilities (getting no help from her seldom-seen-working hubby), and ends up gathering more children throughout the day instead of finding someone to look after her own. There’s Amanda (Lucy Punch), the de facto Queen Bee of her school’s parents and an impossibly put-together person.

Lucy Punch as Amanda, Anna Maxwell Martin as Julia - Motherland _ Season 1, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Colin Hutton/SundanceNow/Merman/Delightful/Lionsgate/BBC

But Julia gravitates to (/ends up with) two of the outcasts from Amanda’s hive: Liz (Diane Morgan), a single mom who finds the easiest way to do everything, and Kevin (Paul Ready), a stay-at-home dad who finds the strangest way to do everything.

Liz is a breath of fresh air — a respite from the cyclical madness. She gives (as the kids used to say) zero f***s about what anyone thinks of her. When she chops her finger off in the pilot, she just hops in a cab and heads to the hospital. When she notices Amanda wiping her hands every time she touches something Liz’s family once touched, she just gets drunk and seizes an opportunity for vengeance. She’s the wild card, and “Motherland” needs more people like her.

Read More:‘Better Things’ Season 3: Pamela Adlon Announces New Writers’ Room After Louis CK’s Departure

Kevin, keenly played by “The Terror Favorite” Paul Ready, is another story. So oblivious is he to the awkward, borderline-offensive fundraisers he pitches, or the false competitions he imagines, that it’s hard to feel bad when the “cool moms” push him out of their circle. He’s taxing on the audience, too. Ready tries his damnedest to keep the naive innocence in Kevin’s eyes for as long as the script demands, but it’s long past rational expectations; Kevin has to know he’s an incredible kook (to put it kindly), and yet he remains in the dark.

Julia is even harder to pin down, but even more troublesome. At once abandoned by anyone who will help her and inexplicably misguided about seeking assistance on her own, Julia is both put upon and self-destructive. In the opening scene, she’s in a panic trying to drive her children to school when a strange traffic light in the middle of an empty street stops her. After waiting a bit, confusedly staring at the unnecessary impediment, she continues forward. Then a car turns into her lane and they come front-bumper to bumper just as another car pulls up behind her: She’s trapped.

Diane Morgan as Liz, Anna Maxwell Martin as Julia - Motherland _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Colin Hutton/SundanceNow/Merman/Delightful/Lionsgate/BBC

In this instance, and a few more like it scattered throughout the season, you feel for Julia and can even chuckle at her justifiable frustration. She did everything right, or at least tried to, and was still punished for it. But far more often she invites the problems onto herself in a way that feels forced and alienating. A running gag sees Julia harass her own mother, who’s recently decided she can’t take care of the kids anymore. Though this is a perfectly reasonable choice for an elderly woman trying to enjoy the last few years of her life, Julia doggedly condemns the kids’ grandmother whenever they cross paths. She tries to make her mom feel bad for wanting time to herself when that’s exactly what Julia is trying to find, too.

Read More:‘Better Things’: Pamela Adlon Ran Her Set Like a Mother and Created One of TV’s Best Seasons to Date

There’s an irony there that could be mined for dark humor, but here it just comes off as cruel. Some of Julia’s other predicaments work better because they’re rooted in ignorance. She doesn’t know that parents are expected to stay if a party’s not labeled a “drop-off” party, and she doesn’t expect to get in the pool at a kids’ pool party. Some of that humor works, but often it results in Julia lashing out at someone without even building to that outburst. She is an absolutely desperate person, at all times. That explains some of her behavior, but doesn’t keep it from becoming exhausting.

The overall experience of “Motherland” is the same. Well-intentioned and with strong ideas worth supporting — seriously, people, help out your spouses — the Sundance Now comedy (that originally aired overseas on BBC Two) can’t balance the chaos it creates with the chaos it instills in viewers. Cringe comedy can provide an outlet to pent-up frustrations, but “Motherland” mainly builds more of them.

Grade: B-

“Motherland” premieres Thursday, May 10 with the first two episodes. New episodes will be released every Thursday on Sundance Now. 

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on May 09, 2018 06:44 PM tagged with TV Reviews

Tencent's release of PUBG Mobile has naturally garnered a lot of attention thanks to its high profile name and solid gameplay on mobile devices. But as we all are well aware, shooters often control poorly on touchscreens. This is why many players have resorted to using Android emulators to get their PUBG Mobile fix. The main reason, of course, would be to take advantage of the superior mouse and keyboard controls.

Read More

Tencent Gaming Buddy lets you play PUBG Mobile on your PC was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on May 09, 2018 06:39 PM tagged with video